Should you quit sugar? 53



View Profile

For most of us, an irresistible relationship with sugar started at a young age. How many of you remember standing at the check-out as a child and crying because your mum wouldn’t let you have that colourfully-wrapped treasure? We were told that sugar is bad for us yet that didn’t and still doesn’t make it any easier to cut this ingredient from our diet.

Now that we’re ‘responsible’ adults, we can make an educated decision about what to eat and what not to eat but are we making poor decisions without even realising it? Should we be quitting sugar completely?

For instance, you might not be eating heaps of Tim Tams or guzzling cans of Coke each day but that doesn’t mean sugars are absent from your diet. You’re likely eating sugar throughout your day without even realising it. Sugar is added to foods that don’t even taste sweet, like breads, condiments and other sauces. It adds up; most of us consume double the suggested amount of sugar per day. As a result, it is leading to increases in heart disease, strokes, Type 2 diabetes and obesity rates.

National Diabetes Week just concluded and reiterates the impact of sugar consumption. It is significantly impacting the health of Australians with 280 people developing diabetes every day. That’s one person every five minutes. But what can be done about it?

There always seems to be a new diet or nutritional fad taking society by storm from no carbs, high protein, no gluten and or no sugar. All have their believed benefits over other options but the sugar debate is especially interesting. It seems like an obvious decision to quit sugar, no?

Sarah Wilson, a well-known Australian media personality and author of a book series, I Quit Sugar highlights her decision to quit sugar. She talks of the immediate improvements to her health and the positive effect on managing her specific autoimmune disease and thyroid condition. Her sugar-quitting empire was born; many Australian’s have devoted themselves to this no-sugar lifestyle but the program has its critics.

Is sugar-quitting really the best solution for our health? Is the no-sugar diet just another fad or should it be taken seriously?

On the other side of the coin, believed by many experts is that cutting out sugar entirely can be dangerous for both mental and physical health. For starters sugar is part of our biological makeup so it is misleading and unnatural to suggest we cut it out altogether. Though this doesn’t mean you should substitute vegetables with chocolate mousse, there are still natural sugars from fruit and honey that are okay.

Overall, the good thing about the no-sugar diet is that it brings awareness to our sugar consumption. It encourages people to look at sugar content and not eat processed foods. The concern though is that people may avoid healthy foods such as fruit because it contains fructose. They ignore the fact these also contain nutrients and antioxidants that will protect against other ailments. Cutting out certain foods can be difficult and vastly unrealistic.

A healthy diet involves eating a wide variety of nutritious foods while still allowing yourself to enjoy small treats. Sugar isn’t the sole reason for increased obesity or diabetes rates, however, processed sugar products aren’t helping the situation either.


Here are some foods that might surprise you of their high sugar content:

  • Milk
  • Flavoured yogurt
  • Energy bars
  • Fat free foods
  • Sauces like BBQ or tomato sauce
  • Salad dressing


What do you think of the sugar quitting movement? Have you tried to quit? Did it work for you?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I use as little sugar as possible. I.e. No sugar in my tea, coffee etc. But it is harder when you look at the hidden sugar. Did you know that sugar is used in products like Bacon? After a visit to a friend I checked and found sugar was the biggest additive in Bacon. (Used instead of salt to cure the Bacon I assume).

  2. I think this more moderate approach is the realistic one. I went cold turkey on the sugar last year,and definitely feel the benefits. I have cut out chocolates and pastries.No more bikkies in the cupboard. I have a bowl of nuts and grab a handful during the day. I have been missing my fruit terribly and I do think I will start that again. The article starts with saying we might have experienced being denied a lolly at the supermarket counter. Well back in the day,we didn’t have supermarkets or the great temptation of all the chockies at the counter. We had lollies in a jar at the corner store once a week and were allowed a penny’s worth in a little roll of paper 🙂

    2 REPLY
    • Catharine, fruit is good for you, it contains vitamins, minerals, fibre and complex carbohydrates. The sugars to avoid are simple refined sugars in processed foods.

  3. Yes, I try to watch my sugar intake but there are times when only a liquorice all sort will make it better!!!

  4. My naturopath advised me if I needed a sweeter to use STEVIA as it is a natural herb and when I did I lost kilos in weight if you need to make healthy muffins you can use STEVIA and I see now you can buy Coke made from STEVIA .

  5. I completed the I quit sugar eight week program and noticed a difference, however old habits creeping back in. I no longer have biscuits and chocolate as a treat, and I miss filling up on fruit. I do notice that eating more protein and veggies is doing me good. The biggest revelation was reading the labels on items like tomato sauce which has sugar in it. Sweets are obvious, it’s the hidden ones that are tricky.

    1 REPLY
    • I don’t know why you are avoiding fruit, the sugars in fruit are complex carbohydrates and good for you. The sugars to avoid are the simple refined sugars used in many processed foods.

  6. I miss fruit most of all – can’t see that we are meant to do without that!

    3 REPLY
    • A little bit of fruit every now and than wont harm you.
      Three pieces a day would be to much. To much fructose is just not that good for good health.
      But by no means give it up.

    • I eat at least 3 a day and about 5-7 serves of veg but then I am a vegetarian. I have been doing this now for nearly 20 years and I’m in better health now than 15 years ago. It’s up to each person how much fruit they want to eat per day but I’m sticking to at least 3 a day.

  7. Personally, I feel better when I avoid sugar. Problem is when I do get off it and like yesterday, couldent resist a lemonade, I get a headache I cant get rid of. Obviously for ne its a no, no.

  8. How much weight has anyone lost? Just interested. Cut out fats and lost weight, is sugar being radical in weight loss too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *